Profile: Michael Runtz

Profile: Michael Runtz

Person

Michael Runtz - Instructor

Background

Michael Runtz is one of Canada’s most highly respected naturalists, nature photographers, and natural history authors. A birdwatcher since the age of five, he has lived, breathed and worked with nature all his life. Professionally, Michael has worked as a naturalist in Canada’s national and provincial parks, and has performed numerous biological surveys, including one on the rare Peregrine Falcon.

A dynamic communicator, Michael Runtz is equally at home in the television or radio studio, lecture hall or classroom. Since its inception, more than 40,000 students have signed up for Michael’s Natural History course. Televised from Carleton University, this is the most popular course of its type in Canada. This popularity arises largely from Michael’s infectious and enthusiastic teaching style, for which he has received excellence in teaching awards from students and peers alike. He is also in great demand as a speaker for groups as diverse as outdoor educators, professional biologists, schoolchildren, and naturalists’ clubs, Additionally, Michael hosted the international television series Wild by Nature, and is a popular guest on numerous television and radio shows such as CBC Radio Noon.

Ten best sellers all bear the stamp of author Michael Runtz’s passion, knowledge and stunning photography. Moose Country, Algonquin Seasons, The Explorer’s Guide to Algonquin Park, Beauty and the Beasts: The Hidden World of Wildflowers, Wild Things: The Hidden World of Animals, Wild Wings: The Hidden World of Birds, The Howls of August: Encounters with Algonquin Wolves, The Revised Explorer’s Guide to Algonquin Park, Algonquin Souvenir, and Natural History. His eleventh book, Dam Builders: the natural history of beavers and their ponds, is being released in January 2014. In addition to his highly acclaimed books, Michael’s award-winning photographs and natural history columns grace the pages of a number of Canadian magazines and newspapers.

Michael Runtz is also well known for his educational and conservation efforts, for which he has received numerous awards, including an Outstanding Service Award from the Federation of Ontario Naturalists, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carleton University, and The Distinguished Public Education Award from the Canadian Council of University Biology Chairs. Michael was the only Canadian profiled – alongside such luminaries as Jane Goodall and Nelson Mandela – on the TVO/NHK Japan Superteachers series. But nowhere else is Michael more in his element than in the natural world itself – howling with the elusive wolf, digging out salamanders from under a rotting log, luring in rutting moose with his skillful calls, or capturing speeding dragonflies with his butterfly net. His intimate familiarity with this world makes Michael the perfect ambassador for nature.